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Young Adult Lit WebQuests

Book Summary

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes's book, Bronx Masquerade, is the story of Mr. Ward's high school English classroom in the Bronx.  His students are in the midst of a poetry lesson on the Harlem Renaissance when a student inspired by Langston Hughes asks to share a poem that he has written.  The poem is so popular, that another student volunteers to share, and then another.  Soon, the whole class is so involved in their poetry recitations that Mr. Ward sets Friday's aside for slam poetry.  As the classmates reveal their innermost thoughts and fears, they begin to find ways to relate to one another.   


There are eighteen different students represented in the book.  Each student has a unique voice characterized in a brief tale of their lives, as well as the sharing of their poetry.  The reader is able to clearly envision the lives and the concerns of these students, as their unique personalities are unveiled.  These teenagers are dealing with real problems: pregnancy, abusive relationships, and low self-esteem.  The reader is swept away on a journey with the students as they begin to bond and form lasting friendships that will help them to survive in the harsh world around them.


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updated: February 14, 2007
December 19, 2005